OBSTRUCTIVE AIRWAY DISEASE DI ACTIVE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, IS IT A REVERSIBLE PROCESS?
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Airflow limitation is a frequent finding in patients with rheumatic disease. Small peripheral airways were found to be the site of obstruction detected on lung function test We tried to find out if the airflow limitation detected in patients with active RA could be reversable during the periods of remission. Pulmonary function tests (FVC, FEVI / FEVI / FVC and FEF2596 -75) of 12 female patients with active RA were compared with 12 age and sex matched control subjects and with 12 female patients in remission. All subjects were long life non smokers. Patients with active RA showed sign&antly lower values of actual (PVC, Fag and FEF2596 7596) as well as the ctctual/predected% of (FEVi. FEV /PVC and FEF25% 75%) than controL During remission, pulmonary function tests showed no significant improvement except in FVC (Actual / predected%) and FEV (actual and actual / predected 96). We conclude that airflow limitation in small peripheral airways is a frequent finding in patients with active R. A. and it is mostly an irriversable process.